Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is pumpkin pie. Moving to Germany and having to make the puree ourselves (really, it’s not that hard) has raised my appreciation for that pie. It’s strongly connected with the season…but wouldn’t it be nice to have a slice in July?

We got this recipe from:

It’s pretty much a straight lift, except for

  • using our own “pumpkin pie spice” instead of their spice mixture.
  • skipping the booze entirely

Presumably the booze would help keep the ice cream from freezing into a solid brick, but I’m usually not so keen on alcohol flavors (barring vanilla extract) in my desserts, so I just deal with the solid texture. You can always take it out of the freezer 15 or 20 minutes before serving or heat up your scooping utensil if it’s a big deal to you.


2 cups (475 ml) whipping cream
3/4 cup packed (157 g) dark brown sugar
5 egg yolks
1 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (originally:
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cognac or brandy (optional)
1 cup canned pumpkin


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the whipping cream and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, stirring to dissolve sugar.

  2. In a small bowl beat the egg yolks, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, and salt. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture and continue to whisk until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the cream mixture in the pan. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture coats a metal spoon (the mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and leave a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it), 4 to 6 minutes. Do not boil. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Stir in the vanilla and the cognac, if desired. Whisk the pumpkin into the custard. Cover surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming; refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.

  3. Pour the pumpkin custard into a 1-1/2- or 2-quart ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturers directions. Pack the ice cream into a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving. Makes 1-1/4 quarts (ten, 1/2-cup servings).

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